The European Parliament voted to end the parliamentary immunity of a Greek politician sentenced to a prison sentence at home for ties to a neo-Nazi political group. He was arrested in Belgium.
Ioannis Lagos, who was elected to the European Parliament in 2019 and was an independent MEP, was stripped of immunity on Monday evening, but the results of the vote were announced on Tuesday.
The Greek Ministry for Citizen Protection confirmed that Lagos was arrested at his home in Brussels, Belgium, shortly after the revocation of the status that protected him from prosecution.
Lagos tweeted on Tuesday: “I’m in a Belgian police car … they’re taking me to jail.”
Belgian authorities are expected to decide whether to extradite the politician to Greece, where he was sentenced to 13 years in prison along with other prominent members of the Golden Dawn party last year.
The Golden Dawn has often been described as a far-right and neo-Nazi movement. Founded in the 1980s, it gained power during the Greek financial crisis of the 2010s, winning seats in the country’s parliament and at one point becoming Greece’s third largest political party.
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In 2020, a Greek court ruled that party leaders effectively ran a criminal organization responsible for multiple hate crimes, including attacks on migrants and left-wing activists. The group’s best-known crime was the murder of rapper and anti-fascist activist Pavlos Fyssas in 2013 by a member of the Golden Dawn.
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